How Do Cactus Reproduce? | There Are 2 Ways |

How do cactus reproduce? Cacti reproduction could take place sexually as well as asexually. In fact, the reproduction method could vary depending on the variety they belong to. Let’s find more about cactus reproduction in this article.

How Do Cactus Reproduce

How do cactus reproduce?

Majority of the cacti reproduction occurs sexually through self-pollination.  With that being said there are some cacti which cannot reproduce sexually and where you have to propagate them asexually. 

They in fact want to have external factors to reproduce.

To briefly explain on the cacti. They are also a type of succulents which you can spot being cultivated across  the world. This factor itself proves the point that they can reproduce. 

Many people tend to grow the non poisonous plants as houseplants. Usually, people are big fans of the spectacular looks these cacti have as they would add so much grace to the space where you locate them.

Cacti are low maintenance plants as well. Further These cacti  are a versatile hardy set of plants. Moreover, they can thrive well with little negligence as well. 

They can store water in their foliage. For example, they can conserve water in their roots, stems and as well as in leaves.

Hence if you skip watering the cacti for some time, they can still survive with the conserved water they have.

Cacti are anyway renowned as a set of plants which can thrive well in extreme conditions. You can commonly find them in hot and dry weather conditions and in mountain areas where nobody can access them easily. 

They can reproduce in these areas while establishing their supremacy as well. You can spot them forming in these areas, usually  in clusters. Further they would reproduce easily  there too

How does cactus reproduce Sexually?

Cacti are flowering plants, and they usually depend a lot on pollination. What happens during a sexual reproduction  is a combination of DNA material of the male and female parts of the flowers

The cacti  flowers consist of both male female parts as well as the sex cells. This is what they use for reproduction, and you may call them gametes. 

The sexual reproduction is called pollination. Once they pollinate the female and male sex cells combine and make an offspring.

The offspring is a fruit which has seeds inside. They will disperse by pollinating agents and will start growing. You may call this process A-Z cacti sexual reproduction. 

Cacti are usually a set of plants which produce flowers. Flowers are quite important in terms of reproduction. 

The cacti reproduction is quite similar to the humans and the animal’s reproduction where there will be a coming together of a male and female parts.

The cacti blooms have androecium and gynoecium which are the male and the female reproductive items. The male reproductive part has so many stamens and they are the one which yield pollen. 

Pollen is a powdery substance which you can spot in yellow. On the other hand, the female reproductive part consists of carpels which have ovules.

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Since these flowers have both male and female parts, you can describe them as bisexual. However, there could be some flowers which have just one part and they been unisexual. 

One flower could be staminate with one stamen and thus male. Ones which are carpellate which have functional carpels are female.

When a cactus reproduces sexually, the pollen should produce an offspring in the egg cells in the female plants. 

Now it will be a pollinating agent which will proceed with the rest. They would simply move the pollen from the male plant organ to the female organ for the fertilizations of the ovules.

There are numerous pollinators which does the pollinating task for the cacti sexual reproduction. There are living creatures such as birds, insects which will pollinate. 

Besides, wind will also bring the pollen and ovules together. The commonly spotted pollinators are such as bees, butterflies’ moths, and beetles. 

In addition to that, there are pollinators such as birds and certain mammals such as bats and rodents which are quite effective in pollinating.

Pollinators are fans of fragrant smells as well as in the colors of the blooms. Once they land in these plants to feed on the nectar, they would stick the pollen into flower nectar. 

They would simply feed on nectar and it would transfer the pollen from the stamens to the pistil. While this takes place, some pollen will get in contact with the female egg’s cells. Eventually the fertilization  of the eggs would occur.

Plants have two options of pollinating. They could either do self-pollinating or cross pollinating. They can self-pollinate when the same plants can fertilize their ovules. 

In contrast to self-pollination, pollen will be moved from one plant to the other to fertilize the ovules. It would be beneficial for the genetic diversity of the plants which make them thrive in drastic changes in the environment.   

Fertilization could take place once the pollination completes only. Further once the fertilization of the ovule happens, it would form a fruit from the fertilized eggs. 

The fruit consists of seeds. Usually, the cacti fruits are more like berries, and they may contain seeds either in black or in brown mostly.

Insects and birds are attracted to their fruits as well. They would not hesitate to either pluck them or eat them. 

Once they consume the fruits, it would expose the seeds of the fruits. Next the seeds will fall on the soil. Here, birds rain and humans can scatter them on the soil.

Cacti can come up with plenty of seeds during their lifespan. However, out of them, only one or two seeds could stay alive until they give birth to a new  cactus. 

Once the seeds are scattered on the ground, some seeds will fertilize and germinate. So, this is how the cacti do their reproduction sexually.

How Do Cactus Reproduce

How does cactus reproduce Asexually ?

You can see people from all over the world grow cacti as they can simply thrive in different environments. Further they can perform well with a very minimal supervision also from you.  

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If you can provide the right conditions, you can grow them indoors as well as outdoors. They can produce flowers with less effort too. Hence it would be so accomplishing to grow these beauties and to see them flourishing.

Planting cacti is what you could call them as asexual reproduction. If we consider on the sexual reproduction , it is something which could take place naturally. 

However here on the asexual reproduction, you need to put up a small effort to make them reproduce.

You may use existing plants and make new multiple plants in asexual reproduction. This is what you could call as propagation.  

This has become a quite useful mode of new plants as you can very hardly find some cactus types in their natural habitat due to extinction. 

Sexual production is not something which could take place when you grow them indoors. They cannot find any pollinating agents. 

Further , let’s assume that they can find the pollinators. Still, it would not be possible for the plants to reproduce in your artificially made floor.

Many people find propagation as a way of satisfaction since it would be rewarding. You could just watch them grow well and it will make you feel good.

If you are a succulent and cactus plant enthusiast, there is no doubt that you would love propagating them.

First, if you wish to conduct propagation through cuttings, you can use stem cuttings for this purpose. You could simply obtain the stem cuttings from existing plants and allow them to wither and develop callous. 

Next, once you plant them in a well-draining soil mix, they will start developing roots and make new plants. Many people tend to use this method commonly.

If you wish to propagate them by the seeds, you can simply harvest them from the fruits and sow them in a suitable soil mix. 

You could practice this method commonly for the solitary growing plants. Once you provide the right growing conditions, they will become seedlings.

Despite the fact they can sustain in difficult conditions, it is imperative that you treat the seedlings well unless they would perish. When propagating you need to be vigilant on the following factors.

Choose the right containers for them.Ideally  pots with ample drainage would work well with them. . You can go ahead with small pots for small plants. Once they grow bigger, you can transplant them in slightly bigger pots.

Further,  you need to use the right soil mix for propagation. The right soil mix for the cactus should be ideally a fast-draining soil mix. 

It is worthy to note here that best would be to use a blend of compost and coarse sand for this purpose.

Hence when you add  organic materials such as pumice or perlite to the soil mix it would allow the roots to absorb the necessary water levels and let the excess water drain eventually.

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Watering the cactus sparingly is very critical here. Cacti do not want abundance. Instead, they would thrive well with moderate water.

You may use the offsets also  to propagate the cacti. All you need to do is to separate them and grow them in a fast draining soil mix. 


You may use grafting also to make new plants. Simply, you can take a cut piece of the cactus and attach it to another cactus severed piece. 

You may call the grafted part as the scion. Further the plant which you attach the cut piece of the cactus to is called the rootstock. 

However, I recommend grafting the plants from the same species so that you can get the best results. Many opt to go ahead with options as the grafted cactus are strong contenders when it comes to resisting the pests’ attacks and the diseases.

Before you conduct the propagation, you need to be mindful of the season to do that as well. You can plant the cacti at any time of the year. 

However, summer, and early fall would be ideal seasons for them to develop roots faster. Hence, I recommend refraining from propagating the plants during heatwaves.  

Unless it would result in the plant’s stress. Further avoid propagating them in the winter as they could go through stress during these times. 

Moreover, they have a greater tendency to be subject to diseases once the cold weather arrives.

How Do Cactus Reproduce

Is my cactus male or female?

Usually, you cannot categorize any cacti as a male cacti or as a female cacti since they are monoecious. This literally means they have both female and male reproductive items. 

To elaborate further on this, if a cactus produces fruits or flowers, that literally means it is a cactus with big genders.

How do cactus spread their seeds?

Usually, animals which feed on the fruits will spread the seeds. Moreover, natural factors such as wind and rain could also spread the seeds.

How  fast does cactus reproduce?

There is no single answer for this question. Reproduction rate of cactus mainly depends on the species. Some cactus reproduce as soon as one year while some as long as 10 years. 

How often does cactus reproduce?

Usually, they would reproduce once a year. If we consider the Saguaro cactus, they will produce flowers in spring and fruits in summer.

On the other hand, Thanksgiving cactus produce flowers in winter. Furthermore, barrel cactus would bloom in early summer and would produce some fruit in May.


To conclude, cacti reproduction could take place either sexually or asexually.

If you practice the correct tips, you can make new plants asexually in a much easier manner. Trust the above discussed details would be productive for you. 

Credit to : Succulents Box
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.